Beseda arhiv vedno bolj zaseda sam center pojmovnega aparata sodobne humanistike.. Njen pomen se širi tudi na področju umetniške produkcije. Arhiv je predmet izjavljanja tako na ravni oblike kot tudi na ravni (zunajumetnostne) snovi, s katero se komunikacijski artefakt, npr. umetnina, sooča. V nadaljevanju bodo predstavljene nekatere izmed danes relevantnih arhivskih perspektiv na dejanskost: »arheologija vednosti« kot teoretski model, primeri novomedijskih del kot digitalnih arhivov, umetnostnozgodovinski pogled na »estetiko arhiva« kot pojav 20. stoletja, pahljača sodobnih rab koncepta arhiva v umetnosti ter rekonceptualizacija dejanskosti sáme prek modela arhiva na mikro (pravzaprav nano) in makro ravni. Pred obravnavo teorije alegorije Walterja Benjamina v drugem delu razprave, ki je vez med teorijo arhiva in teorijo tehničnih medijev, bosta predstavljena dva značilna primera rabe izraza realizem na področju fotografije (Allan Sekula) in na področju novih medijev (Lev Manovič), ki sta povezana z vprašanjem reprezentacije in arhivskega zbiranja. The article outlines the place of the idea of archive on the conceptual map of art practices. The concept of archive has gained a lot of momentum in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, not merely as a functional tool for preserving cultural heritage but as a central issue regarding cultural memory and the understanding of, as well as dealing with, the reality. The first part of the article begins by pointing to the archaeological approach in the humanities, in the works by Michel Foucault. Next the theory of new media object by Lev Manovich is presented, which integrates the database of multimedia materials and a multiplicity, i. e. an archive, of interfaces. The technical level and the cultural level of the computer-based communication are considered. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh has introduced a distinction in the understanding of avant-garde art practices between the aesthetics of montage/ collage and the aesthetics of archive, which does not allow for the elements presented together to create a new unified whole. The inventors of the photomontage already after 1925 turn towards a didactical curation of photographic collections thereby rejecting the effects of the shock stemming from a surprising juxtaposition. The German artists after the 2nd World War connect the archival art to the traumatic memory. The next step is the institutional critique (of the modern museum) of Marcel Broodthaers, which considers the archive as the law of what can be said (Foucault), considering the current discourses and dispositifs. Damien Hirst is also presented from the institutional-critique point of view. The nanotechnology and the contemporary digitized reality are both a sort of discursive realities, that can be construed as a dispersion of regularities that have no natural hierarchical order – the nanotechnology homogenizes the world of materials on the atomic scale, dispensing with the traditional divisions of the material world, such as organic, inorganic etc. The mediatisation of architecture and environment transforms the world into a surface of statements: the increasingly manipulated reality becomes itself a window into the cultural archive, according to Peter Weibel. The photographic reflections and their theorization by Allan Sekula are used to point to the duality of realism and nominalism in philosophy: realism of general terms is needed, unless the world disintegrates into fragmentariness of particular cases. Starting from photographs, criminology attempts to create the criminal type, whereas criminalistics nominalistically chases this particular criminal body. Lev Manovich’s synthetic realism is presented as an uneven simulation of reality in new media, which makes it archive-like, a constellation of signs that represent (photo)realism. The second part of the article explains in detail Walter Benjamin’s theory of the German counter-reformation Trauerspiel (mourning play) from his The Origin of German Tragic Drama (1928), and aligns it with his theory of the technical media, e.g. from his famous paper The Work Art in the Age of Technical Reproduction. The reality and the artwork are both archive-like, but not in an empirical way, starting from experience, but and archive of ruins, filed sign vehicles that have lost all their meanings. Everything is corpse-like, which ominously points towards the impending holocaust. In the conclusion of the second part of the article a moment from a digital video by Slovene video artist Srečo Dragan, who together with Nuša Dragan is the author of the first video in former Yugoslavia in 1969, is analysed. Dragan’s Rotas Axis Mundi (1995/96) video deals with the war in Bosnia in a way that does not betray the victims by exploiting their suffering by making it representable, even spectacular, and integrating it into the cultural industry (as criticized by the Frankfurt School).